Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Modern English - Ricochet Days

This week (February 27th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Ricochet Days, the third studio album from Modern English. This 1984 release spent twelve weeks total on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 93. In the band’s native UK, it went all the way to number 5 on the charts.

Side one begins with “Rainbow’s End”. This melodic guitar pop song has an up-beat, optimistic attitude.

Ironically backed by a programmed drum beat, the lyrics for “Machines” propose a scenario where one day mankind wakes up and all the machines it is dependent upon have broken down.

“Spinning Me Round” is a light, mid-tempo new-wave dance track.

“Ricochet Days” has a bit of a dreamy 60's Brit-pop sound to it in parts. I too like the slight tempo change for the final two minutes or so.

Side two opens with “Hands Across the Sea”. This second single stalled at number 91 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Of the tracks on the original vinyl release, this one clearly is my favorite. It has the catchier chorus of the lot.

"Blue Waves" lightly washes over the listener with synth-pop sweetness. In spots it reminds me a bit of their hit "Melt With You".

"Heart" is the longest track on the album, clocking in at six and half minutes; the opening instrumental overture alone runs a minute and a half.

The closing track “Chapter 12” was also the lead single; it peaked at number 15 on the UK charts.

The CD release of the album, which sported a different cover, included four additional tracks. There was a twelve inch remix version of “Chapter 12”, “Ringing in the Change” (the B-side to the first single), “Reflection” (the B-side to the second single) and “Breaking Away”. The complete CD version of the album can be heard over on Spotify.

I do not recall the songs from Ricochet Days from my college radio listening back in the 80's. Jump forward to the 90's when I was building my CD library. That is when I picked up this one, along with Modern English's After the Snow (click here for that review), most likely in a bargain bin. Due to the lack of any big hits in the US market, this one only gets listened to once in a blue moon at best.

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